Williams Team Principal James Vowles says the operation is firmly focused on its long-term recovery over direct 2023 progress, as it bids to re-establish itself as a Formula 1 contender.
Vowles was appointed as Williams Team Principal last month, joining after a lengthy spell in senior roles at Mercedes, to replace the axed Jost Capito.
Williams has struggled for performance in recent years, having slipped towards the back of the grid in 2018, with owners Dorilton Capital investing in infrastructure after its mid-2020 acquisition.
It has finished at the foot in the championship in four of the last five seasons.
Vowles described Williams as having “been through a tremendous amount of difficulty financially and otherwise” to the point where its approach was “just survival, compared to other organisations,” going on to describe the team’s recovery plan as “not one of months but years.”
“Basically the intent within the organisation is incredibly clear: if you have a choice between making a decision that improves us next week or one that can improves us significantly more in 6/12/24 months you go with the latter,” said Vowles, speaking during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.
“You still have a wind tunnel that has to go through the process it normally would do to evaluate performance and that will I’m sure result in performance we can add to the car this year.
“Furthermore, there’s some elements that aren’t quite optimised and again those don’t necessarily have a large cost on next year’s performance package but allows the learning to move forward and that’s where we’ll invest our time and money.”
One of Vowles’ most pressing tasks is to complete Williams’ technical structure after a series of departures during the off-season, most prominently the exit of Technical Director FX Demaison.
Vowles conceded “the team is definitely under strain at the moment to ensure we’re filling those voids the best we can” and highlighted his aim in building a revised team.
“We certainly are not going to shortcut it to fill technical roles with people that can give us six months rather than 12 or 24, we will find the right people and put the right people in place,” he said.
“I’m a firm believer in fundamentally ensuring that we have growth within our sport. There are some incredible individuals that are ready to be technical directors.
“First and foremost, it’ll be someone with Formula 1 experience, it won’t be someone from outside of our sport.
“It could be someone who has been in the role and wants a change of scenery or someone that has been really up against a glass ceiling and is ready in waiting and has the ability to do so but hasn’t had the opportunity.”